October 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm
You can’t visit the national parks right now because the federal (non-)government is shutdown, but you can read this blog entry about my recent visit to the Smoky Mountains National Park. There is no “e” in “Smoky,” by the way. I checked. If you really want to use an “e” you can call the mountains “The Smokies.”
I ended up in the Smokies because my mom and I wanted to get together but didn’t want to fly anywhere. So we looked at the map and it turns out that halfway between Indianapolis and Chapel Hill sits…Dollywood! But there also appeared to be some mountains in the area, so we thought we’d check those out after we’d spent the previous day running around Dolly Parton’s theme park. (I’ll post about that eventually, I promise.)
We started out by stopping at the Sugarlands visitor’s center where we picked up some helpful brochures and watched a 20-minute movie about the Smoky Mountains. Nowhere did it explain why the area was called the Sugarlands, which I was particularly curious about. I [...]
July 10, 2013 at 7:23 am
I’d like to say that day-tripping to Wilmington, North Carolina with my mom was my own idea, but I was just copying what my friend Shauna did when she visited last year. (But she did it without my mom, of course.) It’s a bit sad when someone from Scotland knows more about the vacation spots in your state than you do, but, eh. It saved me a lot of research time! (Confidential to Shauna: What have you heard about the Smokey Mountains?)
Wilmington is a coastal town that’s a little less than three hours away from where I live in Chapel Hill. It’s a fairly straight shot down I-40 too, so it’s hard to get lost. After spending an hour at the mechanic’s getting my car battery replaced (see previous entry) and beating Candy Crush Saga level 79 in the lobby (Yes! Finally!), we took off. It was Memorial Day weekend, traffic was heavy, and there was a burned out shell of a car on the other side of the highway. Then we drove past a [...]
October 29, 2012 at 7:57 am
Photo by Jon Matthies / by NC-ND 2.0 CC
I never seem to do tourist-y things in my own town until a friend comes to visit. Then they ask, “What should we see? Where should we eat?” And I’m like, “I don’t know! What should we see? Where should we eat?” I have a few ideas, but I’m embarrassed that I can’t recommend more things to do. I may be a local, but I’m not much of a guide.
One of the truisms of my personality is that I tend to gravitate toward home. I like to stay in. I like to order out. I nest. But I also know that most of the good stuff in life exists outside my apartment, so I constantly fight an inner battle to go out and do things instead of stay in and do things. I’ve lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for over two years now, and while I’ve seen lots of things and eaten at lots of places, I haven’t done as much as I’d like. I need [...]
June 25, 2012 at 7:58 am
I was a big fan of the musical RENT in high school, so the best part of visiting the Lower East Side on Thursday morning was accidentally stumbling upon Avenue B and realizing, “Oh my God! This is where RENT happens! Is the Cat Scratch Club around here too?”
I did not find the Cat Scratch Club, nor did I seriously look for it. I did look for the Clinton St. Bakery because both Carol and Ilene said they’d cut a bitch for their pancakes. Ok, they might not have said it in those exact terms, but I think it was implied. I ate there on March 1st, which means I just barely missed visiting the restaurant during national pancake month. They hadn’t taken down their national pancake month signage yet, so I felt particularly disappointed, like they were rubbing powdered sugar in my wound and drizzling it with chocolate syrup.
The pancakes were delicious, but I did experience a brief moment of terror when I tried to pay with a credit card and they told me [...]
June 22, 2012 at 7:57 am
Tuesday morning I had to roll out of bed fairly early because the maid was coming. It must be nice to have a maid, but it’s not that nice to wake up early on vacation. Actually, it wasn’t that early, but my sleeping schedule was rather effed up that month, partly because of the medication I was on.
Anyway, I managed to get vertical, get dressed, and get out the door. I took the subway to the West Village area so I could walk the High Line, a raised walkway that used to be a railway. In that sense it reminds me of the Promenade Plantee I visited in Paris, but with less graffiti. It overlooks the Hudson River and in the summer it’s probably prettier than it was at the end of February. I had planned to walk the whole path, but it was an overcast day, chilly, and my feet still hurt from walking to Brooklyn the day before. I was also entering that period of mild depression I blogged about recently. [...]